Applying just over 3 billion gallons of liquid manure annually, Wisconsin’s 119 for-hire manure applicators are a key component when it comes to implementing the 590 nutrient management plans you write. Yet to the typical professional applicator, the plans they receive from the farmer are hard to interpret and implement. The Professional Nutrient Applicators Association (PNAAW) and UW Extension surveyed Wisconsin’s applicators in the summer of 2007, and more than half of the applicators gave us their opinion of the industry, it’s needs, nutrient management plans, and the future.
Looking at the more than 2,500 farms served by the professional applicators, the farmer or their CCA is determining the application rate 79% of the time—the rest of the time the applicator is making the rate determination. Often, the rate a CCA provides is not the rate the farmer tells the applicator. Twenty percent of the applicators say they have never seen a nutrient management plan, and the vast majority see a plan on only a handful of their farmer clients—usually the CAFOs.